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Grantham flood inquiry: Former quarry owner says western embankment natural, not manmade

12:49 EST

The former owner of the Grantham quarry that allegedly contributed to the fatal 2011 flood has said the western embankment beside the quarry was a natural landmark and not manmade.

Strengthening El Nino to reduce rainfall in northern and south-east Australia but wetter conditions for Western Australia

12:45 EST

The Bureau of Meteorology has confirmed the El Nino pattern is strengthening in the Pacific and is likely to persist into next year.

Drought to be high on agenda of bush councils during talks in St George

11:28 EST

The impact of the drought is expected to be the main theme as Queensland's bush councils hold a major conference today.